We’ve all heard the saying, “marriage is hard work,” but what does this sentiment truly mean? My parents were married for 41 years, so growing up, I witnessed that although marriage is tough at times, the reward of it all is so much greater, especially when committed to the right partner. Although I was lucky to gain a crash course in the realms of “unfiltered, unadulterated, real love,” as a child and into adulthood, I’m still learning and still trying to figure out this thing called love.
As a single Black woman navigating today’s society, it’s refreshing to witness couples who are a reflection of the unwavering commitment I observed early on. The Black Love docuseries aims to do just that by showcasing the nuances and complexities of making love last beyond “I Do.” I recently celebrated my 35th birthday, and in my 20s, it was all about the grandeur of the wedding day. But now, looking back and after watching all four seasons of Black Love, a constant reminder we should all be striving for when it’s time to walk down the aisle is to plan for the marriage, not just the perfect wedding day. Because after all, the wedding lasts a moment, but the marriage lasts a lifetime.
One of the main love lessons I’ve learned from the almost 100 couples featured in Black Love is the importance of having real, authentic, and transparent conversations with yourself but also with your significant other. It’s terrifying to open-up and expose your vulnerabilities. I know for a fact because it is something I am still working through. It forces you to dig deep, break down each layer, and connect with your inner self, but it is necessary, especially in a healthy partnership, when two become one. Therapy has become my saving grace and seeing others on the opposite end of the television screen who look like me admit therapy has helped them in their day-to-day personally; I know I am on the right track.
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There’s no denying that the show’s creators Tommy and Codie Oliver, are adding to the conversation about the ups and downs of relationships and, ultimately, defining the true meaning of #couplegoals. Their creative vision has become a reality check and a source of inspiration for married couples and singles to create a thriving union for generations to come. And in the current climate, it is reassuring to witness firsthand the unique beauty and essence of Black Love, which is found in all shades and variations. From mental health to grief and changes in intimacy, each episode in Season 4 touches on honest insights and confirms why marriage is a journey worth taking. No two relationships are the same and everyone’s road to “happily ever after” is different – and that’s refreshing to see.
Once the cameras start rolling, there is no role-playing; there are no stunt-men on-set. The open dialogue between the couples is not scripted. It is real. It is necessary, and it is much-needed.
Be sure to tune in on Saturday, September 5 on the OWN Network to catch the series premiere of Black Love Season 4.